5 Tips For Your First Ride
If you’ve recently passed your CBT or even your Full Licence… first of all congratulations! Whilst we’re excited that you’re about to embark on the amazing adventure that the world of motorcycles brings, we can also understand that it can be a little daunting to be let loose on the roads for the first time.
It’s a common point of discussion in our Beginner And New Motorcyclists UK group, so we thought we’d put together a short list of helpful tips that may help you to build your confidence and help prepare you for a life out on two wheels.
1. Take Your Time
Now I'm sure you may have heard this one a lot but I’m going to start off with it as its blooming important.
One of the worst things you can do once you’ve passed is rush yourself. You will end up putting yourself in stressful situations which could result in your panicking and doing something which may put you in danger.
So we recommend once you’ve passed, head to some quiet or familiar roads and just take a moment to remember and practice everything you learnt during your training. Perhaps head to a car park after hours and just get to grips with your clutch control and practice some of the maneuvers you covered in your CBT without the pressure of being out on the road.
Remember if you’re going out with friends or other riders, there is no pressure to keep up. It doesn't prove anything or make you any worse of a rider. As long as you all arrive at the destination safely then you’ve done a great job.
2. Be Real - You're Not Valentino Rossi
A lot of people would think that this only applies to youngsters who have recently passed but let me tell you, I’ve seen a great deal of middle aged folks jump straight on big bikes and get themselves in sticky situations because they are not allowing for the fact they have only just learnt to ride.
Every time you swing your leg over a bike you learn something new so just be realistic about your skills and remember no one is expecting you to be a MotoGP rider straight out the gate.
Don’t let social expectations get to you either… As above, if you're heading out with more experienced riders who just want to go hell for leather… then let them and just focus on your own riding. Always ride within your ability.
3. Ride With Others
Okay maybe don't head straight out with 20 other riders but if you know someone who already rides that would be happy to join you to help build your confidence. Perhaps they could lead the way so you don’t need to worry about directions and you can just focus on the bike and the road ahead.
If you don’t know anyone they why not post in our friendly group to see if there may be any other riders in your area. We’re a friendly bunch and we’re always happy to welcome new faces. The more the merrier.
4. Keep Your Wits About You
As you may have seen with learner drivers on the road… other road users are sometimes not the kindest so just be aware that people may see your L plates and not always give you the time or space you deserve. So make sure to check those mirrors and your blindspots and do your best to put yourself in the safest positions possible.
Always try to remain calm and again just remember your training. If you need to pull over to take a moment to reset before you carry on, that’s okay too.
5. Ensure You Have The Correct Gear
This is something we will always recommend to riders of any ability. From having a well maintained bike to ensuring your helmet fits correctly and you have suitable gear for the conditions you’re riding in, it is the easiest thing to get right and help you on your way.
There is nothing more distracting than heading out on the roads during the winter with cold hands and getting soaked through from the inevitable downpour. A good winter jacket to keep you dry and some winter gloves to ensure your hands arnt frozen will really go a long way.
Equally, ensuring your helmet is the correct size and fit can make a whole load of difference on only to keeping you safe but will be a big factor to things like wind noise, which again can be a big distraction you could do without.
Lastly, this one should go without saying but we’ll cover it anyway. Make sure your bike is well looked after and in good condition. As a new rider heading out for your first ride you want to just be able to focus on yourself without having to worry about any issues with your bike. If you’re unsure where to start with this then have a gander at our Beginners Guide To Motorcycle Maintenance.
The main thing to keep in mind is that we all learn at different speeds and different levels. Some people take to motorcycles like a duck to water whilst it may take a little more time and practice for others. If you’re struggling initially then just keep practicing… the main thing to remember is not to give up!
The world of motorcycles and the feeling of freedom on the road is unparalleled so just remember your training and you’ll soon feel at home on two wheels.